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Thursday, October 21,2010

School for scandal

'Waiting for Superman' looks for answers about our educational system

by James Sanford
“Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?” former President George W. Bush memorably mused a decade ago. That’s exactly what director Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth,” “It Might Get Loud”) asks in “Waiting for Superman,” a film that ultimately raises more questions than it answers. That’s not a bad thing at all. Even if you object to Guggenheim’s findings or what he leaves in or leaves out, “Waiting” is a great conversation-starter about a topic we should all be discussing. In the wake of the much-ridiculed, much-vilified “No Child Left Behind” program, Guggenheim sees a system in which plenty of children are not only left behind, they’re left in the dust.
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Wednesday, October 20,2010

Shirt with soul

Benefit, T-shirt help Craig Oster fight for life

by Lawrence Cosentino
Oster’s speech is labored, but he’s patient as rock and persistent as water. With help from his girlfriend, Michelle Dengeldey, the thoughts from the probing analyst’s mind beamed from his tortured body..
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Wednesday, October 20,2010

Advice Goddess

When plush comes to shove & Legume squad

by Amy Alkon
Q: I fear I’ve already turned off the new guy I’m dating because of a ritual I can’t seem to give up. I sleep with a stuffed bunny. I’m in my mid-30s, but I’ve had it since childhood, and I just find sleeping with it comforting. For the first month of dating this guy, I didn’t bring it to bed. But now that I’m feeling more relaxed with him, I grab for it after we’ve finished our intimate stuff. He seems rather unimpressed, to say the least. The other night, he said something like “Now, how old are you again?” Is this something I need to stop doing, or something that somebody who cares about me should just accept?—Can’t Let Go Of Floppy
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Wednesday, October 20,2010

Facing facts

Heather Sellers kept a secret for decades: She couldn’t recognize anyone she knew

by Bill Castanier
Heather Sellers ' whose memoir, “You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know,” comes out this week ' is not a friend of Facebook. It’s not that Sellers isn’t social. She loves going to conventions, addressing writers’ groups and teaching her writing classes at Hope College.
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Wednesday, October 20,2010

Bedeviled hams

Despite audio gremlins, MSU’s ’Evil Dead’ serves as a fun tribute to Raimi

by Mary C. Cusack
It’s campier than “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” with a higher body count than “Little Shop of Horrors.” “Evil Dead: The Musical” is based on the trilogy of cult films ("Evil Dead," "Evil Dead 2" and "Army of Darkness"), which were directed by Michigan State University alum Sam Raimi.
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Wednesday, October 20,2010

Dylan's devotees: 'That music just spoke to me'

For some Lansing fans, the singer-songwriter never goes out of style

by Eric Gallippo
The first time Chris Faulkner heard The Byrds’ version of “Mr. Tambourine Man,” it needed to be louder.“Still to this day, I clearly see my hand reaching out to that old radio dial and cranking it up to hear it,” Faulkner says. “I was just electrified.”It was the mid-‘60s, Faulkner was 10 and riding shotgun, and the Bob Dylan-penned chart-topper was blaring from the speakers of his mother’s 1950 Plymouth. “I kind of knew right then I actually loved, you know, rock music.”
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Wednesday, October 20,2010

Meat and greet

The Meatmen are back, playing to longtime fans and recent converts

by Rich Tupica
Tongue planted firmly in cheek, Tesco Vee, the Lansing band’s legendary mastermind and vocalist, broke into the hardcore punk scene in 1979. That’s when he co-founded the Touch and Go fanzine and record label (which later, under a different owner, evolved into an enormously influential indie label).
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Wednesday, October 20,2010

TURN IT DOWN: A survey of Lansing's musical landscape

by Rich Tupica
Meluch has long been fascinated by natural sounds and the textures of decay. He began playing piano before his feet could reach the pedals. He is a veteran drummer of a half-dozen bands and an avid collector of instruments and analog devices, although Meluch relies on guitar and voice as the basis for his work as Beno't Pioulard.
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Wednesday, October 20,2010

Which films will you fall for?

The 13th annual East Lansing Film Festival opens tonight with ’I Am Love’

by James Sanford
It’s an impressive assortment of features, documentaries, shorts and Michigan-made productions assembled by ELFF exceutive director Susan Woods. If it seems like it’s been a long time between festivals, it has: Now in its 13th year, ELFF has moved from March to October to avoid having to compete with the traditional March Madness hoopla.
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Wednesday, October 20,2010

The Screening Room

Laura Allen savors the flavors of ’Cherry’

by James Sanford
If education is power, Laura Allen must be a woman to reckon with.The actress graduated from Wellesley College in 1996, then returned to the campus to play a co-ed in Julia Roberts’ 2003 drama “Mona Lisa Smile.” Five years later, Allen went back to school one more time: In “Cherry,” shot in Kalamazoo two years ago and now opening around the country, she plays Linda, a mom in her early 30s, making an uneasy adjustment to academia.
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